It’s often hard to see the merits of joining up some of the over-complicated dots in our industry, particularly when they concern the amount of government support for hot topics like increasing the skill levels of advanced manufacturing capabilities. Every government’s role in helping rebuild growth in engineering will always come under close scrutiny – the topic being a godsend for the more vociferous among us that enjoy a lively debate.
The problem is exacerbated by dissenting voices that bemoan this lack of government support, but maybe part of the blame culture is down to the fact that many employers struggle to persuade enough academic institutions to offer modules in working with things like composite materials, for example? Are smaller companies finding that working with local colleges and/or building their own training workshops is unrealistic because they lack the critical mass of apprentices required to justify either?
It’s sometimes too easy to blame the government - particularly when addressing the more nebulous issues that form schisms within our industry. Perhaps we’re sometimes guilty of breeding a nation of moaners when it would make more sense if we did a better job of telling our engineering success stories to the world - assuming anyone listens of course.
One thing is clear, everyone connected with aerospace manufacturing needs to pull together and increase the investment in more skills, if they are to be confident that the young apprentices of today will aspire to find all the solutions to tomorrow’s technology challenges.
Mike Richardson, editor